The U.S. Government has committed $12.5 million in humanitarian funding to
aid relief efforts in Nepal following the April 25 earthquake. U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID) funds totaling $12.5 million will reach urban
and rural communities in the hardest hit districts throughout Nepal.
Search and rescue operations are underway with a 129-person Disaster
Assistance Response Team (DART), which includes teams of urban search and rescue
personnel from Fairfax and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. The teams are
rescuing survivors, identifying victims, and conducting life-saving assessments
of buildings in earthquake-hit areas. In addition, a 20-person U.S. military
joint humanitarian assistance survey team arrived April 29 in Nepal to bolster
the USAID DART response effort.
Priority concerns include shelter and protection for the estimated 2.8
million people displaced by the earthquake. USAID
<https://www.facebook.com/USAID> will today begin distributing 700 rolls
of heavy-duty plastic sheets (more versatile than tents) to up to 35,000
people. Through partner organization Save the Children and with the support of
Nepal Army helicopters, USAID helped distribute prepositioned shelter kits from
the central region warehouse to 1,020 residents of the northern Gorkha District
yesterday. USAID has authorized partner organizations, Nepal Contraceptive
Retail Sales (Ghar Ghar Ma Swasthya Project) and World Wildlife Fund (Hariyo Ban
Project), to distribute essential life support products such as health
commodities, water, tents, food, and hygiene products to informal tented camps
and affected districts including Lamjung, Gorkha, Rasuwa, and Dhading.
Of the total $12.5 million USAID funds, the USAID Office of Food for Peace
will use $2.5 million to provide emergency food assistance to those most in
need. In addition, USAID has already committed $1 million of this overall total
to Save the Children to address the immediate shelter and water, sanitation, and
hygiene (WASH) needs of earthquake victims. Additional funding will be
distributed to relief agencies to provide materials, supplies, and expertise in
support of earthquake relief efforts.
The U.S. Government continues to provide emergency relief, and has initiated
preliminary plans to transition from relief efforts to resilient and sustainable
long-term development efforts in earthquake-affected districts of Nepal.
The best way to help those affected is to make a monetary donation to a
reputable humanitarian organization working in the disaster zone.
Non-governmental organizations listed on USAID (http://www.usaid.gov/nepal-earthquake)
and its Center for International Disaster Information (http://www.cidi.org/nepalrelief/#.VUIQd_mx4Zg)
websites have issued appeals for donations.